Tips for Caring for Your Child's Skin

Health Writer
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Proper care of your child’s skin can help prevent issues, such as infection, and alert you to potential problems and allow you to quickly address them, either with home remedies or by calling your doctor. This is important for all children, but especially so if your child has skin issues like eczema or sensitive skin. Read through for tips on caring for your child’s skin.

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Choose child-friendly products

Look for skincare products that are dye-free, perfume-free, and hypoallergenic. This includes soaps, shampoos, moisturizers, and laundry detergent. Children’s skin is thinner and can be more sensitive.

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Protect your child’s skin from UV rays

Use protective clothing and sunscreen (broad spectrum and SPF of at least 30.) Make sunscreen part of your morning routine, which will help your children get into the habit of always applying it before going outdoors. Keep in mind that it takes 30 minutes after applying sunscreen for it to become effective. Note: Sunscreens should not be used on babies under the age of six months.

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Keep skin well moisturized

Generously apply moisturizer daily — more often if your child’s skin tends to be dry. The best time to apply moisturizer is when skin is still damp after bathing.

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Properly care for skin injuries

Cuts, scrapes, and other skin injuries can become infected if not properly treated. Apply antibiotic cream to promote healing and cover cuts, scrapes, and open sores with a sterile bandage or gauze.

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Reduce irritation

Choose soft, comfortable fabrics, such as cotton and fine-weaved fabrics, to help reduce irritation, especially if your child has eczema, psoriasis, or other skin conditions. For children with hypersensitivities, look for tagless undergarments and cut out clothing tags.

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Avoid chemicals in laundry products

Avoid antistatic products, fabric softeners, and dryer sheets as these contain chemicals and perfumes that can irritate skin. If your child has sensitive skin or you notice skin irritation, switch to perfume-free detergents and laundry aids.

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Lower the temperature for bathing

Hot water strips the skin of natural protective oils and dries out the skin. Use warm, not hot, water for bathing. If your child has dry skin, try reducing the number of baths to three or four per week.

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Test new products before widespread use

When trying a new product, test a small amount on an area of your child’s arm. Monitor this area over several days for redness, swelling, itching, or irritation. If you don’t notice any reaction, it should be safe to use.

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Have rashes of unknown origin checked by your doctor

There are a number of childhood rashes you can safely treat at home. Babies might get diaper rash, or a child might have a rash from poison ivy or poison oak. These types of rashes don’t require a doctor’s attention unless they are severe. However, if your child has a rash and you don’t know the cause, it is best to have it checked by your pediatrician.

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Teach children to wash hands properly

Because their hands touch other parts of their body, it is important to keep the hands clean. Use warm water, lather soap, including under the nails, and gently rub together. Rinse thoroughly. Teaching children proper habits when they are young improves the chances that they’ll use them all their life.